Monday, September 24, 2012


sometimes it's the lilttle things that make the biggest difference.

like getting to wear my ring again for the first time to school...after not being able to get it over my knuckle for about 6 months.

yay for baby steps.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Iconic, Ironic, or just plain awesome

I'm using this binder at school. I love how it slides the ring over, instead of opening downward.

I've got all my classes in this binder, separated by period. I put all my grading in for the weekend, or evening.

And...As I stand here teaching my sixth graders, it makes me smile to think that the Trapper Keeper I used in 6th grade gets a new life in this 6th grade classroom.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Praying more effectively

Well hello Blog friends!

I have been so absolutely tired by the end of the day I don't feel like talking physically or even virtually. I got to sleep in a couple hours today and I feel like a million bucks!

This week I had the opportunity to teach the A.C.T.S. method of praying to my 6th graders. Haven't heard of it? I hadn't either, for most my life, until I attended a Bible study a couple years ago where the leader introduced me to it.
A- Adoration
This is where you start out by praising and adoring God for who He is. A time of telling Him that you love Him for the many characteristics He is.

I teach six different periods of Bible, and throughout the day, we read some verses which included characteristics and aspects of God. Then we would list as many as we could think up. By the end of the day, my chalkboard looked like this
I had the kids use index cards, and write a day of the week on each card, then add 3-4 characteristics of God on each card. That way they could use a different card every day. 

C- Confession
This is the portion of your prayer where you confess your sins that keep you from having a closeness with your Father. 

T- Thanksgiving
A time to thank Him for all His blessings in your life.

This portion, at the very end, is where you make known your requests to God.

I've been modeling this prayer for my classes each day, and I hope that at least a few of them find this more effective than what they had been doing.

Here is an example of how this prayer would look in real life:

"Dear Heavenly Father, You are my Everlasting God. Isaiah 40:28 says, "The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom." I love You and Praise You with my whole heart.

Lord, I'm sorry for the way I treated my sister, I yelled at her when she wanted to play with me. I am so sorry.

Thank You for this beautiful day. Thank You for my family and that they love me. Thank You for all You do for me.

I pray now for my grandma who is sick. Can You please be with her? Would You comfort her and if it be Your will heal her? Give her peace and help her to know that You are near.

In Jesus name, Amen."

Hope this helps any of you out there struggling to pray effectively.

So, that's what I've been up to. I hope to get back into crocheting again before Christmastime, I would like to create some new patterns. :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

A request

School started two weeks ago.

Not just a new adjustment for my babies. (One just started in Kindergarten, and the other in an all day PreK class) But I am back to teaching again after 5 1/2 years off.

I'm not gonna lie, it has been EXTREMELY difficult. Hard to keep the house in order, hard to keep going when I get home, hard to wake up in the morning. (Thank you Jesus for my wonderful helpmate, Mr Toddlerwhisperer)

What's made it super difficult is that my littlest, the one I thought would have the easiest time adjusting is falling apart. Every morning the first week, she begged me to keep her home, screaming all the way to her class that she hated school and didn't want me to leave. It's been awful. The second week was a little better. She says she doesn't want to go to school, throws a HUMONGOUS fit when we get there, but moments after I leave, she's fine. She's participating, has friends, and dare I say, has fun.

I have to deal with all that prior to walking an eighth of a mile up to my classroom moments before the bell rings to start my day. It is wearing. I'm sweaty, stressed and questioning my decision to put her in PreK. I need your prayers.

Here's how you can pray specifically:
*pray my Little has a great attitude before school
*pray Mr T and I have wisdom as to how to prepare her for the day

Thanks so much.
***A tiny update: Today we had NO TEARS at all!! YAY!!
This post is part of a linkup with Gracelaced Mondays

Grace Laced Mondays

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Flagstaff Find

While on a whirlwind road trip through Flagstaff, I asked Mr T if we could stop at the GW I saw on the side of the road. I said, "You never know what people in these little communities are donating, and who's looking."

I made my case. He agreed.

I found a few pieces of pyrex...a large primary mixing bowl that was in fair condition...I left it there...
A Town and Country divided dish....I left it there....
and, my first piece of England Pyrex.
It's called Blue Iris...seems like there are a lot of them floating around right now

Look how cute the handles are...scooped in like so..

It was marked at $6.99, but I thought that was fair for a piece that somehow, some way made it's way across the big blue pond! :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Grace at the "Happiest Place on Earth"

A week and a half ago, we did a whirlwind road trip to California. Mr Toddlerwhisperer was playing a gig out in Newport Beach, so we decided to make a little trip of it. We got to play at the beach, go thrifting, visit with family, and no trip to SoCal with a four and five year old would be complete without a trip to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland!
A quick snap of the drumming Mickey parade

waiting for their first rollercoaster ride in Toon Town

What I was impressed with most by DLand was the fact that every single cast member who worked there was SO nice. Genuinely sweet, kind and full of grace.  You know they deal with thousands of people there each day, some with attitude, some cutting in lines, some hot and whiney, and others who don't even speak English...

Day in and day out, they receive the same questions...hundreds of times a day.."which way is the bathroom?" "where's the best place to eat?" "how do I get to space mountain?" "can i take a picture with you?" and every time they answer, they make the person asking feel like they are the only person who has ever asked that particular question.

We arrived, and I had seen on pinterest how parents use sharpies to write contact info on their children in large crowds...and I had forgotten my sharpie, so we went into a shop on mainstreet and asked one of the ladies if I could borrow one of theirs. They quickly found a permanent marker, and giggled the whole time Daddy wrote his cell number on his little ones' tummies.

We asked a churro vendor which way to the restrooms, and he cheerfully passed on the information.

And, we waited in line for like five minutes for our precious girl to meet Snow White. While waiting, the people in front of us were from an Asian country, and every single one of them wanted a picture with her. Just when she thought she was finished, she would have another one of the party stand next to her for a picture. And every time, she posed exactly the same, kept the same sweet face and smiled.  As our daughter approached for her turn, someone cut from the side, and Snow quickly and in character said, "There's a line for me over there, if you would like to take a turn" them posed so sweetly with my tired little lady.

While the Magic Kingdom was most definitely a wonderful place to visit, here in the real world we come into these same situations in our workplace, at the line in the grocery store, in traffic, with our children...and what pours out from our hearts? Is it love? Is it joy? Is it patience? Galatians 5:22 gives us the list of what should pour from our hearts to reflect that the Spirit of Christ dwells within us. (But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness)

If literally every person who worked for Disney at the park on Sunday can do it, we, certainly as Believers can strive to live by the Spirit, being an extension of the Grace Christ showed us to others. Galatians 5:16 "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." Let's make our homes and our circles of influence the happiest places on earth!

This post is a link up over on Gracelaced for Gracelaced Mondays. You should check out the other links!
Grace Laced Mondays

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Jaiva, Jon's Way

When we were on our California trip last week, my cousin Jon and his wife were so gracious to open their home to us for a couple nights. They live north of LA, and after we did our thing in Huntington beach last Saturday, we made the trek up to their house. A little while after we settled in, Jon brought out this amazing crab ceviche type dish...that was absolutely to.die.for.
I mean. I could not get this salad out of my head for days. On the way home...Mr Toddlerwhisperer is thinking about the beach, the kids are thinking about Disneyland, and I...well, I'm thinking of Jon's Jaiva.
What is jaiva you may ask? It's translation from Spanish is crab. So basically, this is a delicious, tart, salty, spicy, seafood salad. Are you ready for the recipe? (scroll down for picture free instructions. Click here for printable recipe)

You need 1/2 lb shrimp and 1/2 lb crab meat

You also need onion, chiles, tomatoes, cilantro, lime (or lemon) and avocados

chop cooked shrimp

chop and shred crabmeat

my kids would have been happy if this were the finished product...they love seafood

dice up your veggies really small

Oooooh so pretty

add your citrus juice

mix together and refrigerate

are you ready to eat?

instead of putting the hot sauce in the salad, we chose to place it on individually to our liking

Jon's Jaiva

1/2 lb    Jaiva (Crabmeat) **as a side note, Jon made it with imitation crab...not because he's a cheapskate, but because he and his wife like the way it tastes in this dish better...and we LOVED it**
1/2 lb    shrimp deveined (when we made it...we bought cooked shrimp)

Juice from 5-6 lemons (we used limes)

3-4   Roma tomatoes, cut into small cubes
1/2  onion finely chopped
1-2 serrano chile without seeds finely chopped (we used an anaheim chile)
1 T   Salt
1 bunch cilantro

Splash tapatio sauce  (we bought a different brand...pick your favorite from the Mexican food aisle)
corn tostadas

parboil shrimp (or use the cooked shrimp like we did)
chop shrimp and jaiva and mix with juice from lemons
add tomatoes, onion, cilantro, chile salt and tapatio sauce

refrigerate before serving
serve on tostada shells and top with chopped avocado. (and like they do in Tijuana...smear a little mayo on the tostada first)

Oh I sure hope you try this. A tasty, inexpensive, cool summer treat!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Eating out on Vacation

Aaaahhh...summer time is winding down, vacations have been had...and I am here to share a few good eats with you.

We recently came home from a trip to Los Angeles.  My husband is from the area, and he was actually doing a gig with a band from here.  We made it into a mini vacation and did the beach and Disneyland too.

One of our favorite things to do on vacation is to eat out at only places that we CANNOT eat at where we live. Being that my hubby transplanted almost 20 years ago from LA, there are many food joints he speaks of with fond memories...that he misses. We hit quite a few of them. :)

We actually saw this on the Travel Channel, so we made it a point to visit. Slater's 50/50 is an amazing burger joint in SoCal, and we happened to visit the Huntington Beach location.  They make incredible burgers...50% ground beef and 50% BACON. yummmmm

After spending hours at the beach, we were all so hungry. El Pollo Loco was a childhood favorite for Mr we stopped in. It was SO good. Even the kids picked their chicken legs clean!

On our way out of town, we stopped at a Tommy's Burgers...for the YUMMMMy chili burgers and chili fries. The kids have stated a few times that they wish there was one in our "country."

Literally since Mr. T and I started dating in 2000, he has mentioned this place. Soups in bread bowls, delicious sandwiches. Boudin's did not disappoint.

There were some other really fantastic stops we made out west, but these are some of the only photos that were taken..(all by Mr T)

One of my favorite food experiences was actually at my cousin and his wife's house. My cousin is an amazing cook, and he made a crab salad that is SO absolutely delicious...I will be sharing it here with you soon.

What are your favorite restaurants to visit? Do you crave a restaurant you visited once on vacation?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Favorite Monkey Bread

My mom never made this, and I've only had it a handful of times in my life, but when Mr Toddlerwhisperer came home with the recipe from a co-worker for this delightful treat, I thought I would give it a go.

Mine made a buttery/sugary crust, while I have seen some with an ooey gooey crust.

We all THOROUGHLY enjoyed it too! Much better than taking a trip across town for doughnuts this morning.
So, without further ado...I present:

Heat oven to 350F
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cans of Large refrigerated biscuits or cinnamon roll dough (Like Grands! or TJ's like I used)
1/2-3/4 cups butter or margarine; melted (I think 3/4 c butter would make it gooeyer)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar


1. Grease bundt cake pan
2. Mix sugar and cinnamon in 1 gallon bag
3. Cut each biscuit into 8 pieces
4. Shake pieces in bag to coat and place in pan
5. Mix melted butter and brown sugar
6. Pour butter mix over pieces in pan
7. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. (I started checking around 35 minutes)
8. Let cool 5-10 minutes. Turn upside down and serve warm.

I know you can add all kinds of goodies too, like nuts, choco chips, or raisins. Tell me what you do to make yours super yummy!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Grace in a junkyard

Don't trials come at the most inopportune times? Like a car accident right as we are trying to save money for a mini vacation...without collision insurance.

Praise the Lord, this accident looks much worse than it really was, or how bad it really could have been. My hubby was on his way to work, driving in the fast lane where two interstates meet up. So happy he was protected from harm when it all went down.

But. Like I said, not good timing financially. So the cost of a new hood if we were to go to the dealer would be like $250, and the labor is at least $125 /hr and I'm sure they would have charged us for 2-3 hours of labor...because they CAN. ugh. So, hubby did something totally out of his comfort zone.
totally. out. of. his. expertise.

He went to UPULLIT. A junkyard, that surprisingly is located all over the country. He called and asked if they had any make/models of our car...THEY DID...they had 4.

He walked from row to row of piled high cars, and found the first car....front end collision....the next car...same problem...and finally, at the third intact and beautiful hood!! He and his father got to work unscrewing and pulling the piece off the car.

Was it an exact match for color? no. Was it an exact fit?

yes. YES!!

Final cost? $60. grace.

Grace Laced Mondays

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thankful Thursday 184-187

184. Tree Huggers

185. Giant dandelions

186. Exploring new places

187. The mountains are so close to home

(Although our closest mountains are not on fire, they are awfully dry. We've had massive fires in our state, and it seems much of the western states are on fire. Please pray for those suffering from losses because of wildfires, they've been heavy on my mind)

a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut